Knockoffs in Santa Marta

I don’t know if it’s because it’s a beach town full of tourists seeking the comforts of home or what, but I found quite a few eerily familiar products and restaurants in Santa Marta.

First there was Carambolo, a frozen yogurt place that definitely seems based on the Pinkberry/Red Mango business model:

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It was delicious though, and froyo was exactly what we needed after a hot day getting lost in the local market and haggling over hammock prices. I also ended up learning a new word there: jengibre (ginger). Continue reading

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Amusing signage at la Brisa Loca

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I don’t know why, but I always seem to be taking pictures of signs when I travel. Sometimes at home, too, if I spot a particularly funny or weird one.

In addition to all the wonderful things about this Santa Marta hostel that I laid out in my last post, La Brisa Loca also had one of the biggest collections of passive-aggressive signs that I’d ever seen in one place. They kept me highly entertained. Here are just a few more. Continue reading

Santa Marta and La Brisa Loca

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Santa Marta was not a place I expected to stay long. When I first arrived from Barranquilla, I expected a short stopover, maybe one night, but I kept extending my stay until I had spent nearly a week in town. Santa Marta’s central location makes it a great base to explore the nearby town of Taganga, head to Tayrona National Park, or serve as a starting-off point for a trek to Ciudad Perdida (something I sadly missed out on this trip). To be perfectly honest, though, I wasn’t doing much of anything that week. Santa Marta is also a popular vacation destination for Colombians (it’s where my Barranquilla-born friend used to spend his summers), and I was taking it easy like them. Continue reading